Privacy & cookies
What are cookies?
A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your computer, mobile phone or other device by a website that you visit.
Your web browser will access the cookie file as you navigate or when you return to the website that created it. The information in the cookie is typically used to:
- provide interactive and personalised features such as polls, surveys, site registration and links to social networking sites
- help the site owner to gather anonymous website statistics
- improve accessibility and usability by allowing you to change contrast and font size when you navigate through the site without having to do it on every page
- keep track of your shopping basket on an e-commerce website
The cookie is only useful in the context of the website that created it. It cannot be used by other websites.
Websites that set cookies do not have access to other information on your computer – they can only access the cookie(s) they create.
Cookies on their own can not be used to identify you personally.
Why are cookies such a big deal?
There is a new legislation, driven by EU, which in principle is tackling the right thing - to make sure that websites and mobile applications disclose if they are storing something locally onto your device. For a website this most often means telling you what cookies the site places onto your computer, what the cookies contain and how they are used.
The other purpose of the legislation is to give you a chance to consent to the placing of cookies onto your device, although certain cookies are exempt from this requirement. For example, if you would not be able to buy goods on an e-commerce website if the site did not track your basket using a cookie, then they do not need to ask for consent. There is also a bit of controversy over how the consent should be sought, and there are differences in how the original EU legislation is worded and how the Information Commissioner's Office in the UK aims to interpret it. If you are interested in learning more, there is a website http://www.aboutcookies.org/ that tries to explain it all. It is worth to note that that site is maintained by a commercial London law firm.
Details of all the cookies we can potentially have on this site are listed below. Not all of them are in use all of the time, as that depends on what content we have on the site.
More details about cookies from www.smartmedia.com
Cookie name: polls
Sometimes we may have polls on our website. If you decide to vote in a poll, then this cookie is used to remember which polls you have voted in and in some cases, to show you poll results.
Cookie name: nf-[number]
Sometimes we may draw your attention to important information on our website using a pop-up newsflash. If you select 'do not show again', this cookie simply stores your preference to prevent the pop-up newsflash from reappearing.
Google Analytics cookies
We use Google Analytics on our website to collect information about how our visitors use our site. These cookies do not store personal information about you, but are used to anonymously track the number of visitors, where they come from and the pages they visit on this website. This information helps us to improve the online service we provide.
You may also wish to check out Google's beta version that would allow you to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites - however, when we tried it in May 2012 it did not work! You may have better luck at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Social networking sites and cookies
Sometimes it is convenient to share what you found on a website with your friends, so we may include widgets from social networking sites, such as Facebook that allow you to easily share the page. We may also display content from other websites, such as YouTube or Google maps, on our web pages.
How can I manage cookies?
Our cookies do not store information that could be used to identify you personally. As outlined above, they simply help us to improve your experience of our website.
Most browsers allow you to view the cookies that websites have placed on your computer. You can also delete all or selected cookies or to block all cookies or block third party cookies only or block cookies from a given website.
AllAboutCookies.org also provides information about cookies and advice on how to manage and delete cookies.
John Lewis has a simple to use guide for how to enable cookies on your PC.
We do not endorse or take responsibility of the content on third party websites.